Hi Dave - yes, I think they were on very similar courses. Joe was on No. 7B (War) Course. I've just had a look at the course photo, but Mr Arnott does not appear in it. They did fly together with No. 3 (GR) Squadron - in Vincents, on some of the early patrols after Japan entered the war. I understand that, because there were no navigators at that stage, pilots took turns navigating for each other.
Post by Dave Homewood on Sept 29, 2010 20:33:36 GMT 12
Yes that's right. There were Observers who did navigation, wireless operating, air gunnery and bomb aiming (and later radar operating), but they were in short supply as the war intervened in the training proramme to build them up, and many went off to the RAF. Navigators became more standard when the Hudsons came in.
Did any Oxfords have a nose-mounted machine-gun at all? The cockpit exhibited at Wanaka 2004 had one mounted on the left side of the interior, and as a result I scratchbuilt a gun inside my 1:72 model.
Post by Dave Homewood on May 19, 2011 10:46:07 GMT 12
I am certain that the photo shows Hobsonville. Onerahi never had a permanent concrete hangar built like that to my knowlegde. The hangar and the hard stand matches Hobby, as does the view. You are looking from the roof of the hangar which is at right angles to this one, towards the wet apron which is obscured over the bank. That is my opinion.
You notice in that photo the white lines marked on the tarmac, these marked the no parking area where the cantilever doors would clobber anything as they were opened. So I think you line of sight is off by 90 degrees Dave Also noticed in the earlier photo of the 10 Oxfords lined up that there are 11 crates on the tarmac. One for each aircraft (plus the one the photo was taken from)?
If there is a highway to hell and a stairway to heaven is that an indication as to the expected traffic flows?
Post by Dave Homewood on Jun 23, 2011 23:45:57 GMT 12
Something that strikes me as odd, with so many Oxfords having served in the RNZAF, so many experienced pilots and mechanics on the type, and with so many sold off postwar, just like the Tiger Moths, why were there not a load of Oxfords flown in civil hands?
Sure they were wooden but there were plenty of people capable of maintaining wooden aircraft then just like with the Tiger Moths and many other types, and there must have been loads of spare parts too. And not all of the fleet would have been time expired or deteriorated, surely?
You'd think that aeroclubs and private freight and passenger businesses would have snapped up some Oxfords. I'm surised that NAC didn't gab some for crew trainers and runabouts.
What exactly was wrong with the type that the civilians didn't want them and all those sold at auction seemed to be parked in paddocks to rot? They had given tremendous service to the RNZAF as a type. Seems a bit odd. Were they too expensive to run or something?
A visit to Dairy Flat yesterday gave me the opportunity to see the progress on the Oxford, a part of Don Subritzky's collection. Don pointed out that the wings received with the Oxford did not match the serial of the aircraft, which was apparently common when they disposed of aircraft in those days. So we have an Oxford, NZ1332 with port wing 1204 and starboard, 1239.
With a couple of the new Special Hobby 1/48 Oxford kits ordered on their way, I also ordered a copy of John F. Hamblin's excellent book "The Oxford, Consul & Envoy File" published by Air Britain which arrived today. This book details the brief history of every Oxford built, the units they served in including details of the Oxfords that served in the RNZAF with information contributed by David Duxbury. Also included are details of Oxfords that saw service in other countries such as Australia, Canada, South Africa etc. The book also includes many photographs and 8 pages of colour plate drawings of various Oxfords in a variety of liveries.
One aspect mentioned in the book I was not aware, is that Oxfords were also operated at various times during WWII in three of the New Zealand Squadrons in the RAF - 487 (NZ) Squadron - between 5.3.44 to 19.9.45, 488 (NZ) between 12.9.42 to 26.4.45 and 489 (NZ) Squadron between 17.10.43 to 13.12.43. Presumably most were operated as squadron hacks or possibly some as training aircraft.
Has anybody come across information relating to the Oxfords operating in these RAF New Zealand Squadrons - a photograph(s), serial numbers and their use.
Post by Dave Homewood on Dec 1, 2011 22:40:16 GMT 12
Interesting David. I had not found any evidence but I had suspected this would be the case and was actually considering asking about it here on the forum a few months back but never got round to it.
Many of the twin engined operational squadrons in New Zealand had Oxfords on the unit for use as twin-engine conversion trainers (for experienced pilots who had been on Vincents and were moving onto Hudsons), and for twin engine instrument continuity training, and as a transport hack for the squadron. I have evidence of several flying with the New Zealand General Reconnaissance Squadron, No. 1 (GR) Squadron, No. 3 (GR) Squadron and I know they had at least one on No. 8 (GR) Squadorn but I don't have the serial that/those Oxfords. Would you mind listing those that served on the other GR units? I'm particularly interested to know if No. 2 (GR) Squadron used them, and if No. 7 (GR) Squadron did too.
I very much doubt that No's 4 and 5 (GR) Squadrons had them as they were in Fiji, and they had a number of DH89's in their communications flight for the same sort of work.
Also, did any fighter or Army Co-op squadrons ever have them for hacks? Or did they stick to Harvards?
Does anyone have any pics showing the interior of the Oxford's bomb bay? I'm interested in the structural details, any wiring and installation points for Light Series Carriers (for the lethal 20lb bombs) so I can detail a model kit. The pic of the centre section on p.4 of this thread is a start but any additional details would be gratefully received.